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    AMFW   GB0000282623

AMEC FOSTER WHEELER

(AMFW)
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FTSE boosted by Barclays, though mid-caps fall

10/27/2016 | 12:38pm EDT
A worker shelters from the rain as he passes the London Stock Exchange in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top share index rose on Thursday in a choppy session, buoyed by well-received results from Barclays, though mid-cap stocks fell as earnings updates led to double-digit slides for AMEC Foster Wheeler and Berendsen.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index <.FTSE> was up 0.4 percent at 6,986.57 points by the close, while the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 <.FTMC> slipped 0.5 percent.

Barclays (>> Barclays PLC) was the top riser on FTSE 100, up 4.8 percent after its third quarter results beat forecasts.

The lender posted a rise in third quarter profits to 1.7 billion pounds ($2.08 billion), helped by an improvement in its investment bank division.

The bank has been outperforming the European sector since the beginning of last week, when the major U.S. banks reported a bumper set of results and strong fixed income trading.

"Barclays earnings in the third quarter were boosted by its investment banking business, mirroring a trend seen amongst the big American banks," said Jasper Lawler, analyst at CMC Markets.

However, the bank continued to be dogged by UK-specific issues, such as a provision for mis-selling insurance and a pension deficit due to lower interest rates in Britain.

Lloyds (>> Lloyds Banking Group PLC) continued to rebound after dropping following its own results on Wednesday. It initially fell as the government restarted its scheme to sell its stake in the bank, but it closed 2.9 percent higher, extending a rebound from Wednesday's lows to 7.5 percent.

UBS reiterated a "buy" rating on the stock, raising its target price on the stock to 67 pence and saying that earnings had beaten is forecast by 2 percent.

The bank said that Lloyds commitment to maintain this year's target of a 2.70 percent net interest margin as a target for 2017 helped support shares from lows in the previous session.

Banks have struggled in the current low interest rate environment, with the Bank of England cutting rates for the first time since 2009 in August.

Like the banks, the pension deficit was a concern for telecom BT (>> BT Group plc), which dropped 2.2 percent after its own update.

Barratt Developments (>> Barratt Developments Plc) fell more than 6 percent after trading ex-dividend.

The British midcaps underperformed their blue-chip peers after disappointing results weighed on shares in Amec Foster Wheeler (>> Amec Foster Wheeler PLC) and Berendsen (>> Berendsen PLC).

Oil services firm Amec Foster Wheeler (>> Amec Foster Wheeler PLC) slumped more than 20 percent, posting its worst day in almost a year after cancelling its capital markets day and posting weak sales figures.

Commercial laundry company Berendsen (>> Berendsen PLC) tumbled nearly 16 percent on a profit warning.

This follows profit warnings from fellow midcaps Cobham (>> Cobham plc), Keller (>> Keller Group plc) and Senior (>> Senior plc) over the past week.

"This earnings season isn't shaping up to be particularly great for medium-cap companies. They are the ones that are feeling the pinch of Brexit that's been demonstrated in recent sets of earnings," Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, said.

(Editing by Andrew Heavens)

By Alistair Smout and Kit Rees


© Reuters 2016
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMEC FOSTER WHEELER 0.00%End-of-day quote.16.28%
BARCLAYS PLC 0.01% 182.72 Delayed Quote.24.57%
BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS PLC -1.56% 679.8 Delayed Quote.1.46%
BERENDSEN 0.00% 1268 End-of-day quote.45.66%
BT GROUP PLC 0.94% 156.15 Delayed Quote.18.07%
COBHAM 0.00%End-of-day quote.0.15%
FTSE 100 -0.91% 6963.64 Delayed Quote.8.78%
FTSE MID 250 INDEX 0.11% 23658.94 Delayed Quote.15.35%
KELLER GROUP PLC 3.11% 1028 Delayed Quote.47.28%
LLOYDS BANKING GROUP PLC 0.61% 45.045 Delayed Quote.22.38%
MSCI UNITED KINGDOM (STRD) -1.08% 1116.888 Real-time Quote.9.93%
NEXT PLC 1.50% 8122 Delayed Quote.14.62%
S&P UNITED KINGDOM (PDS) -0.91% 1383.35 Delayed Quote.9.01%
SENIOR PLC -1.49% 159.2 Delayed Quote.78.38%
SET -0.37% 1625.65 Real-time Quote.12.16%
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Managers and Directors
William George Setter Director
Andrew Stuart McLean Director
Iain Angus Jones Secretary
John Pearson Group President-Northern Europe Region
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capi. (M$)
AMEC FOSTER WHEELER16.28%0
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